XVI Wilhelmshöhe 18/VIII/98.
Your kind permission allowing me to send dear old Werder to Moskau as my "representant" for the ceremony of the unveiling of your dear Grandfathers statue gives me the opportunity to send you these lines through him. It is really an affair of sentiment which prompted me to send him and not a mere form of courtessy. Through Grandpapa I had often heard of Alexander II and when I had the honour to be presented to him I soon fell under his "charme" as happened to everybody who was honoured by his presence. To his kindness I am indebted that I wear the uniform of the splendid Grenadier Regiment, whose day it is to day, and which is a firm bond uniting me with your fine army, which I shall value and cherish to my dying day.
Your diplomacy has just scored another great success in China, to which I take the liberty of congratulating you the more so as it was done without the firing of a single shot and without any unnecessary noise or bluster. The effect will be a great impetus given to your trade and the industrial establishments of your country. Henry has just telegraphed to me how kindly your authorities have received him, and are doing everything in their power to make his stay as agreeable as possible for him, which gives me the gratifying opportunity to thank you most heartily! I am most astonished at the amount of bosh and blarney that is beeing ventilated in the newspapers of Europe about my visit to Jerusalem! It is most discouraging to note that the sentiment of real faith, which propels a Christian to seek the Country in which our Saviour lived and suffered, is nearly quite extinct in the so called better classes of the XIXth Century, so that they must explain the Pilgrimage forcibly by Political motives. What is right for thousands even of your lowest peasants is right for me too! Since I communicated to you this June, England has still now and then reopened negotiations with us but has never quite uncovered its hand; they are trying hard, as far as I can make out, to find a continental army to fight for their interests! But I fancy they wont easily find one, at least not mine! Their newest move is the wish to gain France over from you, and they in consequence have suddenly decided to send the Duke of Connaught to the French Army Maneuvres a nice little plan of Courcelles, I think, who is ardently at work between Paris and London. I allready once warned your people of him! Now good bye dearest Nicky, how I envy, Werder seeing you and talking with you! Best love to Alix. Are you going to reintroduce the former uniforms again and buttons? --Believe me
Your most aff-ate friend and cousin
- Alexander II., the emancipator of the serfs.
- Germany and Great Britain having acquired interests in the Far East, Russia saw her terminals of the new Siberian railway menaced. On March 8th, 1898, Russia made peremptory demand for the cession of Port Arthur and Talienwan. Control of the Gulf of Pechili was virtually given Russia by the concessions.
- Baron de Courcel, French ambassador in London, 1894 to 1898.